A Long Island woman escaped her boyfriend-turned-kidnapper earlier this week by writing a sign calling for help and using it to catch the attention of a passerby, who then notified police.
Authorities arrested William Jamal Wilkinson, 36, on Tuesday, Fox News reports. Police believe that the Ridge resident held his girlfriend, along with her three children — a 13-year-old boy and 3-year-old twin boys with developmental disorders — captive in his car and refused to let them leave under the threat of violence, according to the outlet.
The woman orchestrated the rescue of herself and her children at a Mobil Gas Station in Roslyn Heights by holding up a sign in her window that read, “Please call 911, CALL 911,” the New York Post reports. At around 1:30 p.m., someone nearby noticed the woman and the disturbing sign in her hands, and promptly called police, leading to Wilkinson’s arrest.
Authorities took Wilkinson into police custody at the gas station without incident, reports WABC, a New York-based ABC affiliate. He was then charged with unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, endangering the welfare of an incompetent physically disabled person, and criminal possession of marijuana.
Police have yet to reveal the circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnapping of the unnamed woman and her three children, the outlet reports.
Wilkinson, who appeared in First District Court in Hempstead for his arraignment on Wednesday, is currently being held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash, Newsday reports. A judge also ordered him to stay away from the victim and her children.
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